Lucy joined Alex and Alice. The three stood at their front room window watching Mr. Roadrunner, who stood on a short garden wall a few feet from the window. They admired his size and his cinnamon, blackish and white freckled feathers. He flexed his long tail and seemed to look at the three in the window. It was clear that he didn’t see through the glass. Presently, they saw a streak crossing the road and Mrs. Roadrunner joined him.
“They are magnificent,” commented Alice. “How fast they run! Monogamous, mates for life; rather like us.” She turned and looked at her husband. Then she went on, “do you remember the old Wile E Coyote / Roadrunner cartoons? I enjoyed watching those trailers. It’s a pity that they are no longer shown.”
“Beep. Beep.” replied Alex. They turned and gave each other a high five.
Lucy stood motionless between them, still fixated on the pair of birds.
“I heard the coyotes last night,” said Alice. “Their commotion upsets Lucy. I’m glad to see that she is calmer now. I wonder if she knows something we don’t; like what they are communicating. Is it a noise when they make a kill, or are they calling for reinforcements as they hunt?”
“Perhaps they are opening an order from Acme. One of those fateful contraptions that Wile E Coyote ordered to assist him in catching Roadrunner!”
Alice giggled “The roadrunner can go fifteen miles an hour; no wonder Wile never caught him!”
“They are doing quite well here for they have caught everything else- – all the domestic cats and wild rabbits. I think that even the dog population is diminished.”
“Surely, they don’t hunt dogs. They are the same species, aren’t they? However, talking about coyote prey, I’d love it if they could also work on the squirrels.”
By now, the Roadrunners had left; and Lucy wandered away. Alex and Alice went about their various household activities.
That evening the coyote calls were close. Lucy was very agitated and roused Alex and Alice. Again, the three stood at a window. This time it was their backyard window where they could see beyond into the greenbelt where the coyotes called. Alex slid the back door open and stepped outside. The night was balmy, and the cloudless sky twinkled with stars. Alice joined him. Together they stood breathing fragrant night air.
The coyotes called again; this time Lucy responded. She ran out between Alex and Alice’s legs, and made for a hole in the fence. She was gone before they realized what was going on. They wondered what an Australian Sheepdog, like Lucy, would do with a pack of coyotes and suspected that she would return. They were wrong Lucy had heard and responded to The Call of The Wild. She was gone. The next neighborhood newsletter described the coyotes, who were continuing to kill outdoor domestic pets and had morphed into a ferocious pack led by a large alpha who looked strangely like a dog.